UpNorth Media Center to rebrand as Traverse Area Community Media

by Matthew Kern
Thursday, May 23, 2019
Traverse Area Community Media
Traverse Area Community Media

The public-access television and video training center for northwest Lower Michigan is taking on some new program offerings — and a new name.
 
Traverse Area Community Media will replace the former UpNorth Media Center brand that has been in use for the past decade of operations under the nonprofit Land Information Access Association (LIAA) in Traverse City. According to leaders there, the name change is part of a natural evolution for the center and its programming as the media landscape continues to change.
 
“Since we introduced the media center in 2009, the ‘up north’ brand has proliferated in our region, even in commercial television,” said Matthew Kern, station manager for Traverse Area Community Media. “And when locals talk about ‘up north,’ we’re talking about the U.P., not our own backyards. We listened to our users and partners about the confusion this can cause, and we wanted to employ a name that is more direct and straight to the point.”
 
One lynchpin for the new name is the word “community,” which Kern says captures the essence of media center operations and also helps to differentiate public-access media from commercial channels and other non-commercial outlets like PBS.
 
“Public-access television and media are hyper-local; they are made by the local community and for the local community in which they serve,” Kern said. “We want our name to help spread that awareness right up front.”
 
Kern noted that the use of “Traverse Area” encompasses the local governments that make the Community Media operation possible — including the City of Traverse City and the Charter Townships of East Bay, Elmwood and Garfield — as well as the larger cable television viewing area, which serves both the Grand Traverse and Little Traverse regions.
 
Traverse Area Community Media is taking advantage of the name change to also roll out several new class offerings, from using your smart phone for video productions to lessons in documentary filmmaking.
 
“Congress created public-access television in the 1970s to give local citizens access to the same powerful media tools and outlets that are enjoyed by the government and commercial interests,” Kern said. “Today, technology is spreading out that playing field in new and exciting directions, and we’re working to keep Traverse Area Community Media at the heart of that, ready to teach and help.”
 
Kern said that the first big public rollout of the new Traverse Area Community Media brand will be during this year’s traditional live broadcast of the Cherry Royale Parade on July 6 at the National Cherry Festival. Viewers can watch the parade in its entirety on cable channel 189 and online at TACM.tv.
 
For information on classes, trainings and volunteer opportunities with Traverse Area Community Media, please call 231-929-4188 or visit www.TACM.tv.